1947 Ramdas ship disaster

The 1947 Ramdas ship disaster occurred near Bombay (now Mumbai) in India. The Indian passenger ship SS Ramdas, while bound for Rewas in Maharashtra, capsized on 17 July 1947,[1] near Gull Island (Kashyacha Khadak), ten miles from Colaba Point, killing 690 of the people on board.

1947 Ramdas ship disaster
Name: SS Ramdas
Owner: Indian Cooperative Steam Navigation Company
Port of registry: Bombay
Route: Bombay to Rewas
Launched: 1936
Struck: 17 July 1947
Fate: Sank; killing 690 of the people on board
Status: Wreck

The disaster

Ramdas was a coastal passenger ferry owned by the Indian Cooperative Steam Navigation Company. It was a twin-screw vessel built in 1936 and weighed 406 tons. On 17 July 1947, at around 8:05 a.m. (IST), 30 minutes after she left Bombay, and at 5 miles (8.0 km) Colaba Point, while en route to Rewas, she was caught in violent storms and high seas.[2] While she was passing the island of Kashyacha Khadak, one of the waves caught her on the starboard side, resulting in the passengers rushing to the port side and causing her to capsize.[3]

The port authorities knew of the tragedy only when a few of the survivors swam to safety and reached the Sassoon Docks and broke the news at 3:00 p.m. Some of the survivors swam across and reached the northern coast of Raigad near Rewas. Some people were rescued by fishermen from Rewas.[4]

Of the 713 passengers on board, 690 died. Most passengers were from the Girgaum and Parel areas. They were mostly workers from Pen, Roha, and Alibag. Survivors included the ship's captain, Sheikh Suleman Ibrahim, who later provided the facts of the incident. It is alleged that Captain sank the ship as partition of India sparked riots in Northern India.


For the rescue operation mounted by the Rewas fishermen, the Indian government allotted some land and a jetty to them. The resulting settlement was subsequently called Bodni.[4]

The Bombay Port Trust decided to salvage it in August 1951 and the work was entrusted to an Italian firm for a cost of 13.8 lakh.[5] However, the wreck resurfaced on its own at Ballard Pier off the coast at Bombay in 1957.


  1. http://wikimapia.org/1149933/Kashacha-Khadak-Ferry-Ramdas-sank-here-drowning-700-persons
  2. "669 Die is Ship Disaster". The Mercury. 19 July 1947. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  3. Correspondent, Staff (18 July 1947). "Indian steamer disaster: Nearly 700 drowned". Pg 4 (50816). The Times. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  4. Interviews with survivors: "Ramdas Botichya Jalasamadhichi Samay Hakikat" (Marathi). Mumbai. 1950.
  5. ""Ramdas" to be Salvaged". The Indian Express. 1 September 1951. p. 3.

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